Innovation Challenges

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Effective Engagement Through A Digital Loyalty Program (closed)

National Library Board (NLB) Singapore
This challenge has closed.
Partners: GovTech Singapore, SG:D Open Innovation Platform
Anticipated Funding: SGD 50,000
Applications close: February 14, 2020
Applications open: November 12, 2019
Last Updated: February 16, 2020 9:59 PM
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The Challenge

National Library Board (NLB) manages the National Library, 26 Public Libraries, and the National Archives. NLB promotes reading, learning and information literacy by providing a trusted, accessible and globally-connected library and information service through the National Library and comprehensive network of Public Libraries. By forging strategic partnerships to cultivate knowledge sharing, the libraries also encourage appreciation and awareness of Singapore’s history through their wide range of programmes and collection on Singapore and regional content.

NLB aims to deliver services and resources to all segments of the community through a wide range of physical and digital platforms. Libraries are built and enhanced to become well-loved community spaces offering equal access to information for all in society, with thematic library spaces and collections to cater to diverse interests, to facilitate community engagement and social interaction. NLB also strives to deliver a digital library available anytime and anywhere, engaging library users in reading and learning in the digital sphere and on devices they prefer through the NLB Mobile App. By creating a myLibrary ID, library members can access their account information, borrow and read/listen books, transact multiple accounts, search and register for events at public libraries.

Book Bugs is a bug-themed game card reading promotion by NLB. There are 85 card designs, each with its own bug character and power and they are collected from a physical card dispenser. It is targeted at children from 10 to 14 years of age, to develop a habit of reading and visiting the library, as well as to boost library loans with minimal disruptions to operations. Moving forward, NLB will continue to build the Book Bugs branding through reading promotions.

The most recent Book Bugs run was from June 2018 – March 2019. On the NLB Mobile App, library users accumulate points in their account by borrowing library items (e.g. book, eBook, magazine, AV material) or completing a monthly Book Bugs quiz on NLB’s discoveReads website. Every 4 points could be used to redeem a physical Book Bugs card.

With the introduction of the Book Bugs reading campaign, there was overall increase in library items borrowed, especially among children. However, it was unexpectedly more successful for younger children aged 4-9 years old instead of our intended target group of 10-14 year olds. Compared to the same period the year before, 4-9 year olds borrowed 40% more physical items and a staggering 487% more digital items (eBooks, audiobooks). In contrast, 10-14 year olds borrowed 34% more physical items and 140% more digital items.

As such, the Book Bugs programme achieved higher reading and borrowing among children but there remains a challenge to increase reach and draw to 10-14 year olds. To do so, NLB hopes to build on the success of the current physical cards and gameplay, through expansion to a virtual platform.


How might we increase readership with a digital loyalty programme that leverages on the existing NLB’s Book Bugs to build a community of readers?


  • The National Library Board is seeking a prototype solution that:
    • Applies digital technology to develop a loyalty programme that includes innovative reading, learning, collaborative and game elements centred around the existing Book Bugs programme.
    • Able to utilise points that accumulate with loan of library items and/or participation in library/book related activities.
    • Integration with the NLB points system is optional at prototype stage, but is to be integrated with NLB points system for a seamless library experience in pilot and final deployment.
    • Able to profile user visitation patterns and deliver seamless experience.
    • Able to Identify and correlate user engagements across activities and online touchpoints.
    • Design and experience needs to be engaging and user-centric, targeting at children aged 10 to 14 in the first instance, and is family-friendly.
    • Solution should help to engage children during return visits of libraries as well as increase library loan rates.
    • Solution should have ease of scale to other age groups in future.


Case 1: Child A is an NLB member who is a Book Bugs enthusiast:

  • Child A borrows library items and goes on the NLB Mobile App to redeem the points accumulated in his account to collect Book Bugs cards (Figure 1).
  • Using his physical Book Bugs cards, Child A plays the Book Bugs game with his friends. After playing a few rounds of the game, Child A goes to the NLB discoveReads site to read the Book Bugs comics (
  • Child A wants to explore the Book Bugs world further and accesses the Book Bugs digital/virtual loyalty programme, where he signs into his account using his NLB myLibrary ID. The programme is an online extension of the Book Bugs characters and card game that he loves, and allows him to be engaged by more reading, learning, collaborative and gaming elements.
  • Child A is also encouraged to visit the public libraries in Singapore for reasons related to the Book Bugs digital programme.

Case 2: Child B is a non-NLB member who is not a Book Bugs user/consumer:

  • Child B is attracted by the digital loyalty programme through different means (e.g. social media and peer playing).
  • Child B would like to join the digital programme but they realise that myLibrary ID and book loan accumulated points are required.
  • Child B signs up for an NLB membership and creates a myLibrary ID on the NLB Mobile App.
  • Upon successful registration, Child B is prompted to view and access the Book Bugs digital/ virtual loyalty programme, where he signs into his account using his NLB myLibrary ID.
  • Child B finds out that the programme is an online extension of the Book Bugs reading promotion in NLB, and it allows him to be engaged by reading, learning, collaborative and gaming elements. He spends some time using the programme at home and in his free time, and his parents and siblings also become interested to use the programme together during family time.
  • Child B is also encouraged to visit the public libraries in Singapore for reasons related to the Book Bugs digital loyalty programme. While at the public libraries, he also borrows library items and accesses the NLB Mobile App to redeem the points accumulated in his account to collect Book Bugs cards (Figure 1), which he starts collecting and playing with his peers.


  • SGD 50,000 of prize money for each winner of this challenge (see Award Model).
  • Access to network of library professionals with reach to a ready audience.
  • Opportunity to work with a Singapore government agency to co-develop and commercialise a digital loyalty programme product, which could be a useful track record in other industries.
  • Winner will be able to use National Library Board as a reference customer for business promotion.



Solution Fit (30%)

  • To what extent does the proposed solution address the problem statement effectively?

Solution Readiness (30%)

  • How ready is the proposed solution to go to market?
  • Is there any evidence to suggest capacity to scale?

Solution Advantage (30%)

  • Is the solution truly innovative, does it make use of new technologies in the market, and can it potentially generate new IP?


  • To share estimated cost for pilot trial, deployment and software support.

Company Profile (10%)

  • Does the product have user and revenue traction?
  • Do the team members possess strong scientific/ technical background?


If there is a selected finalist, 30% of the prize money will be awarded to the selected finalist at the start of the prototype development, with the remainder 70% to be awarded during the prototype development, based on milestones agreed between NLB and the solver (see the Challenge Terms for details). Note: Only 1 finalist will be shortlisted for this Challenge.

Note that a finalist who is selected to undertake the prototype development will be required to enter into an agreement with NLB that will include more detailed conditions pertaining to the prototype (see the Challenge Terms for details).

The Partners

GovTech Singapore

SG:D Open Innovation Platform

Eligibility Criteria

Problem solvers who choose to apply for this challenge must be registered and operating in Singapore. The prototype needs to be demonstrated in Singapore.

Terms and Conditions



1. We understand that Problem Solvers are keen to participate and share their ideas with the Problem Owners. As a rule, all submissions must not contain any confidential information. All submissions and information contained within will be treated as non-confidential. The Problem Owner in this case is the National Library Board.

2. If you, as a Problem Solver, feel that you are asked to disclose confidential information or feel that it is necessary to provide confidential information as part of your submission, please raise this to IMDA at, prior to disclosing any confidential information.

3. After the call has closed and if divulging of confidential information is jointly deemed necessary by you and NLB in order to properly evaluate your submission, then to protect mutual interests, you and NLB can together decide to enter into a separate non-disclosure agreement and/or conduct (part of) the evaluation in a closed environment.


4. Ideas in and of themselves are not protected, and you must be careful to ensure that you do not divulge any confidential information, proprietary information, know-how, or trade secrets.

5. For the avoidance of doubt, IMDA and NLB have the right to view, consider, and (where applicable) evaluate and assess the submission in detail, for the period of the Challenge.

For POC/Prototyping Challenges

6. NLB acknowledges that you at all times retain full ownership and all rights and interests in relation to intellectual property (“IP”) you already own prior to your participation in the Challenge (Pre-existing IP) or create from your work on the Challenge in respect of all submissions made. Therefore, save as specifically set out in this document or in a separate agreement entered into between you and NLB, no licence to use or assignment of any IP is granted or shall occur.

7. For the avoidance of doubt, any IP that is created through any adaptation or modification of IP owned by NLB shall not be used for any purposes except for work on a prototype, pilot trial and development for NLB if NLB proceeds to any of these stages pursuant to the Challenge.

8. Insofar as your submission uses or refers to any Pre-existing IP, you must ensure that you have all the necessary rights and/or licences for the incorporation of such IP into your submission and for any subsequent use for work on a prototype, pilot trial and development for NLB if NLB proceeds to any of these stages pursuant to the Challenge. You must also use all efforts to ensure that your submission does not infringe the IP rights of any third party.


9. If your submission is selected as a finalist for the Challenge, an extended period of testing may be required to evaluate your submission and for the proof-of-concept or prototype of the solution to be developed. For the avoidance of doubt, NLB shall be permitted to test and evaluate your solution for a period of 6 months from the date your submission is selected as a finalist.


10. Incomplete entries will be deemed invalid and disqualified.

11. All submission materials and any presentations must be in the English language.


12. You agree:

(a) to abide by and accept as final and binding on you, NLB’s decision on the selection of the finalist, if at all. Note that NLB shall not be bound to select a winner of this challenge based on the participant with the highest evaluation scores if:

i) NLB, at its sole discretion, is of the view that there are no solutions that adequately meets its requirements; or

ii) if any proposed finalist cannot come to an agreement with NLB on the terms for prototype development prior to confirmation of selection. With regard to this, all Problem Solvers acknowledge that a selection of a proposed finalist is pointless if NLB and a proposed finalist cannot agree on the terms for further development.

(b) to be fully liable to NLB for any violation of confidentiality, patent, copyright or any other IP rights in the submission and shall defend, indemnify and hold NLB harmless from and against any actions, claims, loss or damages for infringement of such confidentiality, patent, copyright or any other IP rights; and

(c) that NLB shall not be responsible for any loss, damage, cost or expense howsoever arising or incurred by you in connection with this Challenge.

(d) that NLB reserves the right to shortlist Problem Solvers according to the evaluation criteria set out under the section “Evaluation Criteria” and to engage in discussions with all shortlisted Problem Solvers on their shortlisted proposals; and

(e) that nothing in this Challenge document is intended to be regarded as any intention or representation on the part of NLB to enter into any contractual arrangement or relationship with you.


13. This Challenge is part of a process that seeks to enable NLB to identify suitable proposal(s) with a view to selecting the most advantageous final proposal to provide the proposed solution. This process may extend beyond this Challenge at NLB’s sole discretion. Such extensions beyond this Challenge shall call for further contractual agreements to be executed between NLB and shortlisted Problem Solvers, as illustrated below.

14. As an illustrative guide to this process, Annexes A-D contain sample terms of the form of the written agreement which NLB may adapt and include as part of its revised requirements to be issued by NLB to shortlisted Problem Solvers under Clause (d) in the above section for “Other Conditions”. Any agreements are for the Problem Owner and Problems Solver to freely agree on. All Problem Owners and Problem Solvers should check with their respective legal advisors if any legal advice on the sample terms is required. The sample terms in Annexes A-D are for general information and must not be taken as recommendations or legal advice from IMDA.

Annex A CoC for Working Prototype

Annex B CoC for Pilot Trial

Annex C CoC for Deployment (Final Award)

Annex D CoC for Software Support

15. As a further illustrative guide, NLB may choose to contract Problem Solvers in stages as shown in the diagram below. For example, the project may commence with a proof-of-concept (Stage 1), followed by a pilot trial (Stage 2) and subsequently deployment or further roll-out (Stage 3). Depending on the nature of the problem statement and the maturity of the proposals, NLB will assess and make a recommendation whether the project could also commence in Stage 2 or Stage 3.

*Proof-of-concept: Involves development of working prototype

** Pilot Trial: Involves test-bedding of the proposed solution in Singapore, at sites designated by the NLB or as mutually agreed between the NLB and Problem Solver

16. Should NLB contract with you on any stage of the proposed solution, NLB is under no obligation to proceed to contract with you for any other stage(s) of the proposed solution. Any progression from one stage to the next will depend on your performance in discharging your obligations, including without limitation, actual results and outcomes achieved in that stage.

17. For the avoidance of doubt, you shall not commence work on any other stage of the proposed solution, and NLB shall not be liable to pay for such work, until and unless a further contract for that other stage is executed by NLB and you.

How to Apply

Submissions are to be lodged online.

All submissions must be made by 14 February 2020, 1600 hours (SGT/GMT +8). NHB and IMDA may extend the deadline of the submission at their discretion. Late submissions will not be considered. 

Any questions pertaining to the Challenge may be submitted to IMDA via email at with the subject header beginning with “Effective Engagement through a Digital Loyalty Programme”.

All correspondence throughout the Challenge must be in the English language.

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